The latest updates to the ONS’s Pension Trends document also found that the peak ages
for men to leave the labour market are 64 to 66 years for men and 59 to 62
years for women. This mean retirement peaks around the State Pension Age for
In 2010, there were 3.2 people of working age supporting
ever person of SPA and over in the UK. However, the ONS said that, without
changes to the SPA, this ‘old age support ratio’ would drop to 2.0 by 2051.
SPA is due to rise to 68 for both sexes by 2046, which
the ONS said would mean the old age support ratio falls by less – to 2.9 by
The rise in women’s SPA is expected to be accompanied by
a decline in their life expectancy at state pension age this decade, the ONS
But, between 2021 and 2051, life expectancy at SPA is
expected to rise ‘gradually’ for both sexes. This is because of a change in the
assumptions for future life expectancy in ONS’s 2010-based population
projections which means life expectancy at the relevant ages is now forecast to
increase ‘slightly faster’ than the SPA increases contained in the Pensions
Acts 2007 and 2011.
Elsewhere, the updates highlight inequalities in life
expectancy between social classes, with the latest estimates for England and
Wales showing a gap of over three years in the life expectancy for 65-year-olds
between the highest and lowest social classes. Geographically, life expectancy
at age 65 is highest in England and lowest in Scotland.
In terms of the healthy life expectancy people can
expect, the most recent figures –for 2008 – show UK men at age 65 had 9.9 years
of health life expectancy, compared with 17.6 years of life expectancy. For
women of the same age, 11.5 years of healthy life expectancy is forecast,
compared with 20.2 years of life expectancy.